My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday News Day: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

First, the good.


Same-sex couples in California get marriage licenses
By LISA LEFF – 12 hours ago

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California has become the second state to allow same-sex marriages.

A landmark California Supreme Court ruling overturning bans on gay marriage went into effect at 5 p.m. Monday and clerks in at least five counties began handing out gender-neutral marriage licenses.

At San Francisco City Hall, Mayor Gavin Newsom was presiding at the wedding of lesbian rights activists Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84.

Same-sex couples were also tying the knot in Sonoma, Los Angeles, Yolo and Alameda counties.

Massachusetts is the only other state where gay marriage is legal.
This is just so, so wonderful. It is reprehensible that we still treat LGBT people as though there is something wrong with them. What is the legal basis for denying people who are attracted to the same sex civil rights? Why, none of course! It's just good, old-fashioned, institutionalized bigotry.

I know the wingnuts are going to try to stop it, but really, wingnuts, may I ask a question?

Why don't you pay attention to your own marriages and leave other peoples' alone?

Otherwise some people might think you, yourselves, are self-loathing gay people trying to prevent other, more self-aware types from having the happiness you can't allow yourselves to have.

Just sayin'.

Now...the bad. Iowa is flooded and in big trouble, and we are looking at possible levee breaks as well as more water shortages.

Officials pleaded with Iowans to remain patient, and warned of serious health hazards even in areas were waters had largely receded: leaking sewage, mould and contaminated food and water.

"Please bear with us, we're doing the very best we can," mayor Kay Halloran said, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette newspaper.

The state has mobilised 4,000 National Guardsmen, and the federal government has sent $3.6m in disaster aid.

In Cedar Rapids, flooding has caused $750m to $1bn in damage, governor Chet Culver said.

At the southern end of the state, the swollen Mississippi river is expected to crest today or tomorrow, promising days of further misery for people kept from their homes. In Burlington and Keokuk, crews worked to build up levees that could hold back the surging river.

The federal government predicts that 27 levees could potentially overflow along the Mississippi river if rains continue and a massive sandbagging effort fails to raise the level of the levees, the Associated Press.
This is terrible enough, but as usual, the media is not connecting the dots. Those billions of dollars in damages do not just encompass houses, schools and hospitals, although losing them is awful. What is really scary is how much food has been lost - and how much continues to be lost.

Acres of soybeans lost: 2 million

Acres of corn lost: 1.3 million

Tillable acres of farmland under water: 16 percent of the state's 25 million acres.
What does that mean? More pain for the American wallet, already straining to afford gas that rises an average of 25 cents a week. (My theory on gas, by the way, is that BushCheney has an exact figure at which they will stop the oil prices from going up any further. My guess is $5/gallon. Certainly this state of affairs cannot continue, or the U.S. economy will simply collapse.)

Okay, that's the bad. Now, for the ugly.

[original photo: New York Times]

Was this really necessary, on the same day that Al Gore finally endorsed Barack Obama?

The Obama campaign announced today what had long been suspected: Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle was going to work for the Illinois Democrat. What came as a surprise was Solis Doyle's title, "chief of staff to the vice presidential candidate."

The move was seen as shrewd but potentially controversial. Solis Doyle was let go by Clinton because of what was widely regarded as poor campaign and financial management. But she still is a prominent Hispanic figure with ties to the former first lady -- attributes that could endear Obama to a sought-after political constituency.

One thing the move does suggest, insiders believe, is that Hillary Clinton's chances of being tapped for the vice presidency are now slim to nil.

"This alone means that Hillary won't be the V.P. choice," wrote one.
Ya think?

Despite the story's spin, there is nothing "shrewd" about hiring Solis Doyle. She is the one largely held responsible for the "We'll win by Super Tuesday" strategy that had Senator Clinton front-loading her money and resources and gave Obama his advantage in red-state caucuses. Explain to me how hiring someone who was fired for incompetence is "seen as shrewd?" As for the Hispanic issue, I doubt Ms. Solis Doyle is any more adept at community outreach than she was at campaign management.

No, this is a pure, balls-out, Chicago-style middle finger from Obama to Clinton. And yes, I do believe it finally puts the nail in the coffin of the pipe dream that Hillary will be Obama's VP.

I have said for weeks now that Obama will not ask her. If he had any intentions of doing so, he would not have conducted his campaign in such a nasty and immature manner. This thuggish, pointless theft is just the icing on the cake.

Hillary Clinton's response?

“Patti will be an asset and good addition to the Obama campaign. After nearly two decades in political life, she brings with her the ability to tap an extensive network that will be a huge asset to Senator Obama. As Senator Clinton has said, we’re all going to do our part to help elect Senator Obama as the next President of the United States," said spokesman Mo Elleithee.
You tell me. Which one has the grace, the class and the maturity to be our President? The man who takes every opportunity to rub his opponent's face in her "loss"? Or the woman who does everything she can to try to heal the wounds her opponent caused her, her supporters and her Party?

Unless Hillary is the nominee, there will be no Party unity. Barack Obama will see to that.



sister of ye said...

It's wonderful to know I could get married in CA. Now if I could just come up with a social life...

I'm really disappointed in Al Gore. Talk about pouring salt in a big wound, coming to MI to endorse. I reminded myself that this is is the guy who picked Lieberman for his running mate, so for all his good qualities, obviously his judgment isn't perfect.

I read your blog daily, but glitches block my posting most days. Hopefully this will get thru. Good work!

madamab said...

Sister of ye - You are a Californian? Good for you! Wooooohoooo!

You know, I love Al Gore, and I think he genuinely feels he is healing the Democratic Party by coming out for Obama. He did wait until the primaries were over to weigh in, which SOME PEOPLE (John Edwards, cough cough) did not do.

As for Joementum, I understand that the Party picked him, not Gore. That's usually the way it's done, although this year, since Obama IS the Party, I think he'll have free rein. I bet you one MEEEELLION dollars that he will pick a Republican like Chuck Hagel or even a Broderian figure like Michael Bloomberg. Obama is the ultimate Unity08 candidate - and that's not a compliment.

There may be other motives as well - we know that Gore and the Clintons are not close friends at all, and perhaps Obama promised a large donation to Al's foundation to fight climate change.

In any case, I'm done with idealizing political figures. The Party Leaders have disappointed me so much this year, with the way that they have caved to the Republics time and again, and now rigged the nomination process to favor the weaker candidate. They all deserve to be primaried by true liberals. :-)